Japanese Self Esteem Case Study

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Introduction: Studies on self-esteem among youth in Japan raise interesting and important questions as to the proper application of self-esteem as a mental health indicator, particularly on an international level. Often, studies have found that when using traditional tests for self-esteem, such as the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, Japanese youth are consistently evaluated to have lower self-esteem on average than their western counterparts. However, many studies also suggest that in spite of the traditional implications of low self-esteem, be they medical, social or otherwise, the truth may be that cultural differences, such as differences in upbringing or societal standards may naturally cause a perceived lower average self-esteem in Japanese…show more content…
In western culture, low self-esteem is generally found to be linked with depression, unhappiness, and other mental health issues. However, when attempting to apply similar diagnoses to Japanese youth, in spite of consistently lower scores of self esteem relative to their American counterparts, these traits are not always found to be linked with levels of self esteem in the same way as the western youth. This raises the question as to whether or not researchers should change how self-esteem is defined, diagnosed, or applied, especially in relation to research in foreign…show more content…
It becomes more difficult to apply universally the accepted definition of self-esteem in these cases, as being focused on “one’s own worth and abilities” necessarily diminishes the importance of society to the self esteem of Japanese youth. Moreover, when interpreting the findings of this research with the idea of interdependent construal of self, as well as Brown’s reassessment of “average” between cultures, it becomes more clear that the assessment of low self-esteem likely results from many factors that are not shared between Japanese and western youths. As such, this paper argues that more consideration be made into the definition and evaluation of self-esteem when viewed across cultures, as opposed to applying a universal

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